Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ghost Hunting 101

Types of hauntings

Today I’m going to talk about the different types of hauntings. There are two basic types of hauntings that have several subcategories. It’s important for ghost hunters to be familiar with these terms because they come up a lot in discussion and can help us better understand the nature of each event.

The two main types of haunting are intelligent and residual

The first type is basically what it sounds like-some sort of spirit who shows signs of intelligence and interaction with the present world. This can include direct responses to questions, completing tasks asked of it, or commenting/responding to the people present.

A residual haunting is one where the spirit appears to have no knowledge of its surroundings. These types often include activity such as the repeating of a phrase or action, or movement that doesn’t make sense in the environment (walking into doors, climbing invisible stairs etc…) Many people believe these hauntings are simply a replaying of activities that occurred in the past.

Lets look at some of the other basic subcategories.

Many people believe that both human an inhuman spirits can interact with our world. A human spirit is someone who once lived and for whatever reason appears to still be hanging around. For the most part these spirits are completely harmless. Sometimes they startle people when noticed but for the most part it appears to be accidental.

Inhuman spirits are incredibly rare. Many people feel that demons, elementals, and other dark entities are to blame for these hauntings. If one of these things are hanging around they are usually quick to let people know they are there. Some signs that a haunting may be inhuman in nature include the movement of large objects, unexplainable injuries to people in the location and a strong sulfur smell. If you feel you’ve come across something inhuman or dangerous while investigating I recommend seeking help in dealing with the problem because they can be dangerous and difficult to get rid of. In three years of investigating I’ve never come across something I felt fell into this category, though I’ve talked to enough people who have dealt with them to believe they are a possibility.

Another type of haunting that gets a lot of attention is poltergeist activity. This type of haunting is mostly limited to the movement or manipulation of objects. There are many theories to the cause of poltergeist activity but many of the explanations are based on little more than legend. Some people feel there is a link in poltergeist activity and psychic ability. They theorize that unconscious thought or stress triggers the movement of objects. There have been limited amounts of testing done on these theories though, making them little more than speculation.

Perhaps in a few more years with work and research investigators will be able to better understand the cause and logic behind hauntings. Until then, all we can do is try to understand them.

Have you ever experienced a haunting? If so, what category do you think it falls under?

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